WRC Recognizes Water Reuse Champions for 2016
SAN DIEGO (March 31, 2016) – The Water Reliability Coalition (WRC) will honor San Diego City Councilman Chris Cate, City of San Diego Deputy Finance Director Lee Ann Jones-Santos and the Padre Dam Municipal Water District for helping to advance the cause of water reuse at the WRC’s Spring Reception tonight.
“Our nominees this year are great examples of individuals and organizations leading the way in San Diego to see recycled potable water become our next great local water supply,” said WRC Co-Chair Matt O’Malley of San Diego Coastkeeper.
“We are lucky to have true leaders who are dedicated to ensuring San Diego can take full advantage of potable reuse as a cost-effective, reliable and sustainable source of water,” said WRC Co-Chair Sean Karafin, of the San Diego Regional Chamber of Commerce.
Cate will be honored as the WRC’s Political Champion of the Year. Cate has been an advocate for potable water reuse since 2009, recognizing the potential early on for this new water source. Even more important, Cate has continued to advocate for water reuse since he was elected to the San Diego City Council in 2014, serving as a champion for the Pure Water San Diego program and other forms of water reuse, such as storm water capture.
Cate has also helped lead efforts on water rate reform, saying that the region needs a water rate system that rewards ratepayers for conserving while ensuring a stable stream of revenue to pay for capital projects and infrastructure.
Jones-Santos will be honored as the WRC’s Behind-the-Scenes Rock Star of the Year. While Jones-Santos generally prefers to keep a low profile, she has been involved in virtually every complex financial planning process for the $1 billion Public Utilities Department.
In addition, she has served as the chief number cruncher for Pure Water San Diego and has been closely involved in several rate development processes, helping to ensure a solid financial foundation for those initiatives.
Padre Dam Municipal Water District will be honored as the Agency of the Year for its expedient planning, approval and construction of the Advanced Water Purification Demonstration Project. This is the second time in three years that the agency is being honored by the WRC. In 2014, the agency got kudos for their public outreach and education efforts specific to the then-planned demonstration project. The pilot project is now up and running and available for tours.
Since March 2015, the pilot program has produced approximately 100,000 gallons of purified water each day. The ultimate goal of the Advanced Water Purification Program is to develop a proven full-scale program that produces approximately 25 to30 percent of East County’s drinking water supply.
More than two dozen elected officials are expected to be in attendance at the event, including Cate and fellow San Diego City Councilmember Mark Kersey. Total attendance is estimated at about 160.
The WRC is a broad-based affiliation of environmental, consumer, business, labor, ratepayer and technical entities advocating for a safe, reliable, sustainable and cost-effective local water supply.